How to Look Zoom-Worthy

by Rona Berg
Woman on Video Call

After a recent Zoom call, a friend told me that I looked pale and a bit washed out. After two and a half months indoors, I guess that shouldn’t be surprising. But it made me take a closer look at the other participants in my next two Zoom calls, and guess what? They looked more washed-out than usual, too--no matter what their skin tone! 

“The camera has a tendency to make the average person look washed out,” says Karim Orange, Emmy-nominated makeup artist and photoshoot producer. “Apply foundation to even out the complexion, and then apply bronzer lightly to cheeks and forehead. Stay away from bronzers with too much sparkle. Also, if you tend to sweat, a translucent powder in the T-zone works wonders.” 

Once I started to wear a bit of bronzer “on-air,” it really warmed up my skin. It also helps to apply a face mask (the moisturizing kind!) a few hours before, to perk it up. But more than anything, good lighting is really important. 

“Lighting is key, but you want to also make sure you have a clean uncluttered backdrop so the viewer can focus on you,” says Orange. “Natural light is best, if it's shining directly on you. This means it's behind the camera. If that is not an option,” she continues, “a ring light works magic. You can also try using a lamp you currently own with a daylight bulb (not a yellow light, or even soft white). Place the light behind the camera (with the shade on, to act as a diffuser). 

Do not film with light behind you, this will make you look dark. Do not film with light overtop. This will create very unflattering shadows on your face, according to Orange. 

“The key is to try options prior to your Zoom meeting,” she says. “Record, and review to make changes.” Just consider it another level of meeting prep! Here are some great products you may want to try. 

Westman Atelier Super Loaded Tinted Highlight in Peau de Rose

This highlighter for eyes, cheeks and lips is loaded with antioxidants, hyaluronic acid and organic jojoba oil to light up the skin. credobeauty.com

ILIA Night-lite Bronzing Powder 

This powder bronzer is blendable, and will never look harsh or sparkly. With jojoba seed oil and a fine texture, along with light-reflecting pearl pigments, it will warm you up in any light. iliabeauty.com

LANO 101 Ointment – Baby Rose Gold

A soft shade of rose, this ointment hydrates and gets your glow going--on lips and cheeks--with a super soft flush. ulta.com

Eminence Organics Citrus & Kale Potent C + E Masque 

Packed with vitamins C and E, this mask delivers firmer, brighter, younger-looking skin. Kale, spinach and broccoli sprouts--with lutein--boost elasticity and hydration, andlemon and grapefruit oils tone and refresh skin. eminenceorganics.com

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